A new clinical facility will be coming to Columbia in early 2014.
BioPharma Services Incorporated is based in Toronto, and its clinical operations facility in Columbia will be the company’s first in the U.S. Mayor Bob McDavid said BioPharma will fit in nicely with Columbia.
“I think it’s just terrific that we can sort of blend the research creativity innovation that comes from BioPharma into our culture of healthcare and life sciences,” McDavid said.
The Columbia facility will hold a 48-bed building, running Phase I and IIa clinical trials. Phase I trials are the initial introduction of a new drug given to humans, which involves close monitoring of test subjects. Phase IIa trials involve larger groups of people, and tests if a drug is effective and safe to use.
Renzo DiCarlo, BioPharma’s CEO, said the facility will create a dozen full-time jobs to start, but expects constant change for part-timers also.
“Because drug development is somewhat a variable in terms of what studies work and what studies don’t, a lot of times there’s a lot of variability in the work flow. So, there is a significant need for part-time staff to deal with the ebbs and flows of the volume as it goes through every month of a study,” DiCarlo said.
For each study, BioPharma will recruit subjects from volunteers and from medical doctors that refer their patients. The new facility is slated to open at 300 Portland Street starting early 2014.